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tv   [untitled]    May 27, 2011 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT

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thank you, commissioners. the item is continue to august 4. >> you are nonitem 13 and the hearing is over an appeal of a preliminary mitigated negative declaration. >> i am jeremy bauer from the planning commission situation and the item before you is the preliminary appeal mitigated negative declaration for case number 200.0891e. the proposed project would replace a perimeter gasoline service station currently in use as a surface parking lot with a
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five-story, 52 1/3 foot high, approximately 50,000 square foot building with 18 residential unit and over 7100 square feet of ground-floor retail use, and a below grade 18-car parking garage. the existing service station building, a one-story, 1,800 square foot structure constructed in 1970 is presentfully use as a parking garage. the existing building is considered a category c for purposes of ceqa review and is not a historic resource if 10,925 square foot corner parcel site is outside of but across the street from the liberty hill historic district which extends north to 20th street. the project site is within the intermission cultural resource survey area, the mission reconstruction historic district, and the inner mission commercial corridor historic district. the existing building's date of
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construction falls outside the period of significance for both district. on february 16, 2011, the planning commission issued a preliminary mitigated negative declaration for the project. the neg dec identified no cultural or historic resource impacts. include nothing potential impacts for the nearby liberty hill historic district. on november 7, 2010, the city's historic preservation commission reviewed the proposed project under the eastern neighborhoods interim control as an informational item and found the design generally come patable with the surrounding architectural and historic text. the neg dec was apeeled on march 8, 2011, but sue hester on behalf of a resident to the planning commission. the appeal letter raises issues related to recreation, transportation analysis, and
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shadows. you should have a packet which includes the department's responses to the appeal letter t appeal itself, a copy of the neg dec as amended, and a draft motion to uphold the neg dec. the department's responses to these concerns are included in your packet. the department believes that the mitigated negative declaration is the appropriate document for this project and we respectfully recommend you adopt the motion to uphold the neg dec. this concludes my presentation. i am available for questions. thank you. o president olague: we'll hear from the appellant at this time. >> sue hester. i wanted to speak on two issue, shad dose and transportation. i'll start with transportation. your response -- the response to my raising this issue is troubling because it goes back
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and says that you basically do your transportation analysis based on census data from 1990 and this is a little bit beyond that. and you haven't -- i am following up on comments made at the beginning of the hearing made by myself that you have a transportation methodology that is way out of whack with the real world. and you don't have good data on this and the response goes back to eastern neighborhoods e.i.r. as well. and this area of the mission has had substantial changes. it has had substantial changes in who lives there. they have had substantial changes in how the streets are used. there's a really big nighttime activity focus on valu valencia
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street. there are changing transportation patterns because of silicon valley buses. i think it's a bouwa limousine. i think that is the name you see. and the planning department doesn't have any information that ep ables you to get decent transportation information in the real world in transitioning neighborhoods because you are flying on really stale assumptions of patterns and analyses. and i left my copy and i was so flabbergasted that you went on tv and i was watching the board of supervisors and i left my copy on my sofa, but i read it and was underlining and you go back to the page that talks about why am i raising questions on transportation and were invalid and it's permeated with this is the way we do it. well, this is the way we do it
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wrong. you cannot assume that the patterns on how people worked in 1990 are the same way people worked in 2011. it's not even the same as 2000. and in 1990 and in 1980, the pattern of the way people worked in san francisco and the bay area is we had a downtown commercial district and people came into it. now we have lots of job locuses and they are not in the downtown anymore. and they have income to live and work here and work in silicon valley because they make good money and choose to leave here because it's convenient for the bus routes that they have and a transportation system that has evolved. we do not have transportation analysis and this is 20th and valencia, right in the middle of
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the valencia corridor and the corridor, this area of the mission is changing and has changed and is not reflected in anything we do. we go back to the formulas. that is a huge flaw in all of these analyses. the second issue i want to talk about is shadows. and i acknowledge there is a difference between ceqa analysis of shadows and code analysis of shadows, but they kind of cross fertilize and affect each other. we have a law that has been on the books since 1985 that says you can't shadow rec parkmerceds. adopted by the voters. and that law, basically it says you look at buildings and if they are under 40 feet, you look at them with different eyes than if they are over 40 feet. what you do not have in here is an analysis of how what is the
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of a building that is under 40 feet and you have an analysis that says there is no big deal on shadow impacts but when you have a policy that says you look at shadows in different eyes in the city because we adopted different policies and you have ceqa analysis that just looks at things as though it was anywhere else that didn't have these kinds of laws, i have a problem with it. section 295 has different standards for buildings under 40 feet. you wered 40 feet shadows -- under 40 feet shadows were allowed. this is a 54-foot building because parapets stick out. what you have here is value judgment in this neg dec on page 73 that sets it's not important
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for the standards to apply in san francisco. this is a recreation facility. it is the only outdoor swimming pool -- the only public outdoor swimming pool, the only rec sent we are a public outdoor swimming pool in the entire city. it has a neighborhood that really uses these facilities. this is the mission center and it serves a low income neighborhood and i really disagree that you can make the conclusions that you are being asked to on page 73. you do not have to go to a full e.i.r. if you don't like this. you can send it pack and tell the staff to do the shadow anl snis this study without these value -- analysis in this study without these analyses and
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complying with the prop k in the sense it's under 40 feet. i will be back on the main case to tell you the factors that pervades this is people were looking at this in light of the rec park that made the prop k determination four years ago and there was no neg dec until six months ago. and originally on a project that is different from this one and made it with value judgment that said you have to change the project. it's not so good. and i will have that as well on the discussion later on. but you had, you go to rec park and you get no ceqa information. they make the determination and it's fed into the ceqa determination.
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it's kind of a circle that how do you get out of? i really am troubled about the neg dec on transportation issues and i'm troubled about it on shadow issues. thank you. president olague: thank you. project sponsor. >> good afternoon. i am representing the project sponsor tim brown bermont street homes. we do agrow with staff's analysis and the conclusion that you have a valid neg dec in your package and it should be upheld. i want to emphasifr emphasize td appellant must meet on the appeal which is in the absence of substantial evidence of the project may have a significant impact on the environment or the impacts can't be mitigated, the
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neg dec is appropriate and must be upheld. in order to prevail on the appeal t appellant must represent a fair argument on the negative impact. and i have put in my briefs that opinions and speculation and arguments do not meet the standard. on two key items that the appellant raised, the planning department followed the process and requirements that apply to every other project they anal e analyze. no exceptions were made in reviewing this project and we are not asking and none should have been made. on transportation, the appellant is asking for some specialized review based on their speculation on the type of person that would purchase the units. how far, the appellant hasn't provided any facts that the units will, in fact, or more likely to be purchased by that
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demographic referring to the silicone valley and reverse commuter traffic and even more importantly if that were the case that that would actually have an environmental impact under ceqa. i think ms. hester's comment on transportation really raise a larger question on how transportation analysis is done and perhaps beyond the discussion of this particular project in this venue, but the key question for us today really is does this project with 18 units have an impact on existing capacity and existing transportation and traffic conditions. and the apps -- the answer is no. and on the same top that i can ms. hester raised t idea that the silicon valley bus concept is good for the environment and results in less transportation impacts than individuals driving their individual cars. so it probably has a reduction in impact if anything.
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but i do want to make a point on the record that we're not targeting this project to any specific demographics and not the ones suggested by the appellant. the neg dec you have before you evaluated the traffic conditions and including daily peak conditions and concluded that this 18-unit project would not substantially change existing levels of service or capacity in this neighborhood. on that topic. so on shadow, we do cause some additional shadow on the mission playground. however, that is not the key question. the key question is whether that additional shadowing is significant or adverse you wered ceqa. a comprehensive shadow analysis was completed. it was reviewed by planning staff and by rec and park staff. we presented to the rec and park commission and their position was that the additional shadowing was not adverse or significant. if i could show on the overhead something --
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to force this is the image of the mission playground entrance along valencia street and looking at the entrance from the direction of the project if additional shadowing that the project will cause is located alodge here right -- right along here behind the tree. it is a small amount of shadow. it occurs early in the morning and is limited at certain times of the year and occurs, like i said, only in a small portion of this area. the trees in the image are there but not factored into the shadow analysis. when we talk about real kps, in reality -- when we talk about real conditions and consider the trees in there, the actual shadow that is caused by this project on this park is very minimal. but even without the trees,
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doing the shadow analysis that was done and the additional shadow zone is not significant and all the data analysis was done and properly concluded. so at a local level on shadow, we do have prop k from 1984. we do have the 1980 guidelines that this commission and rec park commission jointly adopted and we have over two decades of history of implementing prop k and the 1980 guidelines. the mission playground is not a tolerance park and the analysis of the additional shadowing and how much would be acceptable is in line with what's being conducted in other similar parks. i submit there is no inad kequa in the shadow analysis that was completed. that concludes my comments and obviously happy to answer any questions, but we ask you deny the appeal and uphold the neg dec. president olague: thank you. is there any general public comment?
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. tim colon and i am here to express our frustration, deep frustration, that an appeal a ceqa appeal on a neg dec can even be filed on a project like this. our policies in san francisco seem to be in open conflict with each other. on the one hand we have a project that proposes to take a vacant gas station and convert it into a use that includes housing for people to live in the neighborhood incrementally reduces the influence of private automobiles, puts in bike parking, and at the same time provide the opportunities in the public process for this project to be fought. this project seems to conform in any way we can see with the eastern neighborhoods. it fulfill what is we say is an environmental good. it moves us in the direction we need to go in terms of our city and yet the rules allow an
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appeal to be filed on it on what sounds like grudges and grievances. it is not environmental evidence that we can see. the neg dec was sound. the shadow analysis, what can you say? the rec and park commission who has jurisdiction of the facility voted unanimous that it wasn't significant. the transportation has been put in to a maximum extent take into consideration where we should be going. putting it off valencia street, the curb cut. reducing parking. we believe that this is a sound project that all the environmental issues have been addressed adequately and there is really no reason to file an appeal, and further, it is wrong that you can file an appeal on something like this. please deny the appeal. president olague: is there additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: i would agree with staff and project sponsor on both grounds. there was, while it's important
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to note that the sunlight is early morning and it is a limited area of the playground, numerically it's very clear that the total additional shadow is .06% which is less than the allowance which is .1%, so certainly in conformity even if the shadow were cast at more significant times. and on the other issue of who will tl live there and where th mayor newsom go, i know from -- and where they may go, i know from my ebbing peerns as a dentist -- my experience as a dentist and they are working for places sometimes at one place and sometimes at another. just because currently you are working for google, many of them are transferred and then work in the google offices in san francisco and others specifically move to a san francisco company because they don't want to put up with the commute anymore. and so we are starting to see
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more companies relocating to san francisco. and i think on balance it's probably pretty even. i think the work force in san francisco remains at even among business and professionals about the same numbers we have been seeing in the past. how far however, we only have 18 units and that is the key thing. regardless of a small fluctuation in one or two units at different times, it is not going to be significant and i think it was pointed out that you can easily address it with the neg dec and i am supportive of the neg dec and not the appeal. president olague: commissioner miguel. commissioner miguel: yes. first of all, on the additional shadow, it does not in the manner in which it's legally compu computed take into account the trees, and i always have a problem with shadow on shadow as if you are counting it twice. as far as the traffic analysis is concerned, this was a former service station, so if you want to talk about traffic, you're
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reducing traffic no matter how you go on this. and if you are talking about the changing patterns of how people work, go back to what some in this room remember as the downtown plan and before. all of my friends and acquaintances who worked in what have then the downtown that was covered by that plan, the vast majority of them lived in the peninsula in marin and commuted into the city. that has also changed. a lot of those people have moved back into the city and the traffic patterns have changed. they're going to change ef five year. it's not going to be constant. this building is not being built in five-year increments of consideration of traffic patterns. it doesn't work that way. so as far as i'm concerned, any traffic it implications of 18 units and 18 parking spaces in
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consideration of the total volume of traffic and in consideration of the former use, even if it's a parking lot for that matter, let alone the service station makes this challenge virtually inconsequential. i would move to uphold the negative dec. >> second. president olague: commissioner sugaya. commissioner sugaya: however, i think ms. hester does raise an interesting issue using this particular pmnd and that is the way that the city as we talked previously handles the traffic analysis issue in ceqa. and i am not ready to vote against this at the moment, but staff, could you answer one question? in your reply to ms. hester's appeal it was represented that
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it depends on the census data and whatnot from 1990 and it does raise an issue, i think, about how we can continually use an analysis system that depends on data that is totally outdated at the moment. and when do we catch up on this thing? do we have to wait for the 2010 census to say something about it or what? >> thank you, commissioners. jeremy battis, planning department. regarding the age and the data of the data, it is my understanding that we all know that the data comes out every 10 years with the accept us is, but my understanding that the census for reasons of wanting more disclosure and participation, the census bureau made a choice to shorten the form and reduce
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the number of questions. and 1990 was apparently the last date they had the long form with all the questions regarding commute data and because, due to reasons beyond the scope of this conversation, the planning department has historically chose on the rely on the census data as it's been presented in the 1990 that was the last year that the census data provided local governments with commute and that is the data we're using. commissioner sugaya: it does, but on the larger conversation with the ceqa issue, this has to be part of that go around. that is all. and the only other comment is ceqa is a process set up under state law and i think anybody
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has a right to appeal the negative dec or the pmnd and mr. colon knows that. president olague: i don't support the appeal, but do endorse the comments of ms. hester. i have been hearing these for years from bike coalition, tom, and i have been having these convictions as long as i have been here and it is time we start tackling the issue. call the question. secretary avery: commissioners, the motion on the floor is to uphold the preliminary mitigated negative declaration. on that motion, commissioner antonini. >> yai yai. >> commissioner borden. >> aye. >> commissioner miguel. >> aye. >> commissioner fong. >> thank you, commissioners. that motion passed unanimously. commissioners, you are on item 14a andb, 2004.091ck for 899
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valencia street. the item on the calendar, 14a is the conditional use authorization and 14b the shadow. and i think you will hear them both together, but you need to take your action on the shadow first before you take your c.u. action. >> good afternoon, commissioners. ben fu, planning department staff. the 899 valencia on planning code 134, 151, 175, and to allow the demolition of existing service station and construction of a new approximately 50,000 square foot 52'4" containing 18 dwelling units, ground-floor retail space and below-grade parking spaces and two commercial spaces and two car share spaces. the project utilizes the eastern neighborhood pipeline status per
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planning commissioning code section 175.6e to elect to conform to the controls under the former have lens ya street neighborhood commercial zoning district. and the project size currently trends zoning district in a 55-foot high district. and the project seeks approval of findings regarding shadow impacts to a public mark in this case the mission playground per planning code section 295. the problem was the applicable requirements to planning code is consistent with objectives and policies of the general plan that complies with the first source hiring program and the project provides 18 three-bedroom dwelling units to the city's family housing stock. it voluntarily provides two car share spaces where none are required. the project minimizes the vehicular access for below-grade garage to approximately 12% of the frontage, well below the requirement of the 1/3 the width of the building. it will convert an underused
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site into a productive mixed-use development with street trees upgrades and ground floor commercial spaces or active uses that have ceiling height, transparent windows and attractive street facade design and will not create adverse shadow impacts for the playground. the project design is consistent with and respects the existing neighborhood character and is an appropriate infill development that complements the existing development pattern in the packet we will submit to you, it shows the progression and design evolution since the data was submitted to where it is today. i am available for questions. thank you very much. president olague: thank you. project sponsor. >> good afternoon. representing the project sponsor. i am going to make very two brief comments and threat architect go over the actual
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project design. first on parking, when we started this project, we had a requirement to provide one space for every unit and that is standard change with eastern neighborhoods and although we are a pipeline project, we aren't required to comply with some of the current requirements including parking. so what we're asking is .75 spaces per unit and we believe it is appropriate here for the following reasons. all the units are three-room units and work well for families. the parking is located below grade and we have to build a full garage level so regardless of the number of spaces we allowed to provide there, we will have a full garage below grade level. none of the parking is at grade level so it doesn't reduce the amount of retail. and it doesn't have any negative impacts on pedestrian experience or other urban design concepts in general. we have done two other things in a sense to compensate for the